Modern Lending Podcast | Mastermind

 We discuss what is going on in the mortgage industry and how mortgage companies and salespeople are adapting and thriving.

Your Snippet of this episode of the Modern Lending Podcast:

  • Brian  & Barry discusses in real-time what is happening in our industry right now.
  • We have a Stream-crasher you do not want to miss out on.
  • Find out what the pivot points in this new market
  • Community is now more than every is important to the mortgage professional

Episode Transcribe

Alec Hanson:
All right everybody, we're live, thank you guys for joining us, this is going to be a really, really fun conversation.

We are live on YouTube, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn, which is hard to do, you've got to apply, it's all this complicated stuff. But, we're hoping to bring a really authentic conversation to all of you today, and I've got a couple housekeeping things to address just to make sure everything syncs up. Thank you for joining us all over, this is amazing, man, and in this time of uncertainty, circling together and sharing information, and sharing intelligence, and sharing what we're all doing is the best way to pull us all through this. So right now what I would love for you to do because these links just went live, please share them, please comment on them, please push them out to your community, and so we can actually get a real global conversation into how we're handling this today.
I'm going to introduce everybody that's going to be on the call, and we're going to kind of go through this, and I want to frame it up for a second and we actually have a stream crasher that I'm going to introduce in a minute. But while you guys are all joining, here's the purpose of the call today, we really want to start at the top of what's going on in our industry, and there's nobody better, in my opinion, to bring on than Barry Habib, who is seeing real-time and dialoguing real-time with a lot of the leaders of our industries, and understanding what's happening. So there was a letter you did, Barry, on the 26th and there's some conversations that I know you and Brian are going to have, but man, let's start at the top and really unpack, what is the Fed doing, what is our industry doing, how are the markets responding?
And then after we get through that, and hopefully a lot of questions come in at that time, we're going to come down one level from the industry into the mortgage space, what is the mortgage companies doing today to survive and thrive? And we have our very own COO, chief operating officer Tammy Richards on, and we'll have a really robust conversation on what position are mortgage companies in? How are they adapting? How are they changing? How are they positioning themselves? And then as we kind of wrap down the conversation, my boy Brian Covey and I are going to talk really down to the loan officer, to the sales level of how are we adapting?
Man, we can't go to open houses anymore, we can't go visit our realtor partners anymore, we're hosting virtual happy hours, all the crazy stuff, so how are salespeople adapting and thriving and what are some of the best things happening there? And we just hope for a really robust conversation today, so we're already over a couple hundred people, I see almost 500 people on most of our channels, so this is going to be a really exciting time. So to kick us off, we do have a stream crasher, and you've got to make some room when somebody kind of muscles in, and our very own CEO, Anthony Hsieh, asked to join from his house because we're all kind of buckled down, to just kind of add some comments and kind of kick-off this call. So, this is going to be a really great time, please ask your questions, all of us can see your questions as they come in, so do not be afraid. We'll dive on as many as we can, and let's get ready to rock and roll, so on that, I'd like to welcome Mr. Anthony Hsieh to the field.

Anthony Hsieh:
Hey, how's everybody, I'm just excited now to talk because you don't see anybody anymore, so when I found out that you guys were having this get together, I pulled some rank and decided to muscle in, so here I am. Good to see you Barry, hey, by the way, everybody, Barry and I are going to have a pretty interesting conversation about the state of the industry and where we're at, and what's happening to government, what's happened to the world. I think it will be really interesting, I look forward to that discussion with you, Barry. Wound down to that, I think it's going to be sometime next week, but anyways, hey let's meet everybody and just wanted to say hello.

Alec Hanson:
I'm putting some comments up there Anthony, so people are obviously excited to see your face, they're commenting on the social feeds, so it's a good time, I appreciate you being on and I know you'll be here and hanging out with us as long as you can to answer questions and participate. So, thank you very much. All right, Mr. Brian Covey, let's kick it over to you and let you kind of start dialoguing with Barry, and let's kind of unpack what's happening in this crazy industry.

Brian Covey:
Yeah, let's do it. Well, most everybody, I'm not going to assume you all know everything Barry's done, but Barry, we just want to publicly thank you for your leadership during this time, and you have really stepped out in front and that's what leaders do, [inaudible 00:05:45] we thank you as an industry for how you've helped navigate and we know you're going to be one of the most influential people helping to just provide clarity during some uncertain times. So, for those of you that don't know Barry, I would be surprised, you've been living under a rock probably. But, Barry is one of the most diverse people I know in accomplishment, so I have a few here I just thought I would read off, just to give you context of where Barry's expertise and everything comes from.
He's been on CNBC lately, you've seen him there, you've seen him on Fox, he's the CEO of MBS Highway, which all of us in the mortgage industry should be following along, gives us great insights there. This one's pretty cool, I love this, two-time winner of the Crystal Ball award, which we would all love to have that Crystal Ball right now, and you've also had Mortgage Professional of the Year, by National Mortgage Professional Magazine, and accomplishments go on and on, but what I loved, and you're a dear friend of mine is, you actually personally produced over $2 billion dollars in originated loans. So you understand what originators and leaders are going through today and you've led teams, and you've really been in the space. Not only that, but we love you Rock of Ages show, so as a musician, you've got this diverse side of you as well that some people may not know that.
But I love just your caring heart, and how you continue to give to this industry and, Barry, we're glad to have you here.

Alec Hanson:
Muted. You've got your mute, Barry. Barry, you're muted.

Brian Covey:
Oh, you're muted.

Alec Hanson:
I know, but that was the responsible thing to stay muted, I'm sure what you said was eloquent and amazing.

Barry Habib:
So, I'm sorry, but thank you, Brian, and thanks everyone, it's an honor to be here with all of you, Anthony, what an honor to be on with you, as well. So, thanks for all the good that you folks are always doing, Alec, your show is always great and I watch it, and I think you're such a source of leadership and information for us too, so thank you.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Brian Covey:
Well, let's jump into it because I know everybody joined today and they're hoping to learn some things, get some insights from you. So we were talking the other day about the Fed moves, and you've obviously written a fantastic article, you did a video around it that helped a lot of us just understand what's happening. So, do you mind breaking that down a little bit, of what really happened?

Barry Habib:
Yeah, so we'll go kind of quick, and the Fed is very well intended and very smart, I met Jay Powell, I mean, just what a great guy and what was occurring was this, what the Fed had wanted very much to stabilize the mortgage markets, and they felt that by buying mortgage-backed securities, it would accomplish two things, one is, first of all, they were absorbing a lot of the need for liquidity. So, REITs were dumping mortgage funds just to raise cash, remember, when the stock market was really taking it on the chin, that caused margin calls in the stock market, they had to raise cash so they were selling everything and some of the things they were selling were mortgage bonds.
And knowing that we needed a stable mortgage environment, the Fed said, "Hey, we're going to come in, we're going to keep that stable, and then you know what we're going to try and do? We're going to try and keep rates low." Not realizing that the industry was already at a maximum capacity issue, so it wasn't reflective in rates. But the Fed did something they had never, ever, ever done before and they brought out the bazooka, and they started buying $40 billion dollars a day in mortgage bonds, which it completely achieved the objective of causing mortgage bond prices to rise, but it wasn't being reflected in lower rates because of capacity. The problem with that is that when you have a transaction and you're locking the loan for the customer, it's really not a lock, it's just a promise to lock that loan.
So the company, the bank, the lender, absorbs the indecision in between the volatility until it's closed where they can finally deliver that. Now, in between what they need to do is, protect themselves, so you want to protect yourself from mortgage bonds getting worse by essentially shorting something like mortgage bonds so that you'd profit on that and you'd offset each other. When mortgage bonds get better, though, the problem is that your short position, because you were banking on them getting worse, now your short position, you're on the wrong side of the bet, you're losing enormous amounts of money. Now, you have a counter effect of that in that you'll deliver that loan and make more on it, but the problem is, is timing and what we saw was that we saw the broker-dealers saying, "You're too short, I need your money right now."
And the amount of money in margin calls that was going out was dangerous, it was painful and dangerous eight-figure checks, so we got the Fed, thanks to all of your efforts. Thanks to people heeding this and Steve Liesman and I, we were up till 11:00 at night Sunday night and got the Fed just Monday to turn around and stabilize the markets by buying about half of what they were to absorb the liquidity, keep it stable. But they're watching MBS securities just like we are and we went from this to kind of this move, and we are thankfully good, but there are other issues that we still have to worry about.

Alec Hanson:
Barry, it's incredible for me that your letter can make that kind of an impact across the country, I mean, it's just really incredibly cool.

Barry Habib:
Well, that's very nice of you to say, but it would have gone nowhere without you guys, without real heroes like Peter Boockvar, and John Mauldin, and Steve Liesman and everybody in the media, really, it went viral all over social media, so it was all you folks that did that. So they heard it, and they're smart and they adjusted it, and that was an easy fix-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, just like Anthony put a message out on LinkedIn this morning, that we are all in the same boat, and we all need to row in the same direction and pull on the same side of the rope and we can do amazing things in industry, but we are definitely in it together.

Barry Habib:
Yes.

Brian Covey:
100%, yeah, the #bettertogether, you'll probably see, but we all need each other, and the question a lot of us are getting right now, that Barry, you've seen, is around forbearance. We're seeing this on the news, we're getting asked questions, so I hope you can kind of break that down because that is, right now a source of tension that we're all trying to sort through.

Barry Habib:
Well, when there's a word that's hard to spell, it's also hard to understand sometimes, right?

Alec Hanson:
True.

Barry Habib:
Here's the thing with forbearance is that just like anything, was it Ronald Reagan who said that some of the most dangerous words you'll hear is, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." So the government is really trying, with good intentions here, to want to do something to help those in need, and let's face it, we've seen just between last weeks number and this weeks number, approximately 10 million people now have filed for unemployment benefits, and you know it's going to grow. So, that's a lot, our workforce is 160 million people so we've already shed 10 million of those jobs, this puts us in a position where of course, we want to stabilize things. But what the government wanted to say was, "Hey, listen, if you've got a mortgage payment and if you're affected, well, then you don't have to make your mortgage payment for a period of time, it's not free, it's not forgiven." So the government botched the first step, which was A, the messaging because so many people out there, they are assuming that this is a free lunch.
They don't recognize that there is no financial benefit, in other words, your balance sheet, your net worth does not change because of this, you owe this money whether you pay it after the forbearance, whether you do a modification, whether you do an increased payment or whether it's collected when you sell a refinance, you owe it. So the only thing you're literally saving is the fact that what interest it might earn in your checking account instead of in the mortgage servicers account. So for maybe $20 worth of benefit in interest, you're literally jeopardizing the housing industry and it's that serious. It could collapse, and I am fearful that the abuses of what we're seeing here is everyone is saying, "Oh, it's free, let me all do it." And it's creating a problem with services who can't handle this, it's also creating an issue with first payments, which if you close on your loan and you don't make that first payment, the loan at the present time is not a salable loan.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, people are not understanding that, that's a wonderful comment, Barry, can you hit it again because I want people to hear it and be able to explain to their customers, if they don't make their first payment, it's going to be a dramatic issue for the industry.

Barry Habib:
Well because think about it, if you were lending your own money, and we know that eventually, you'll run out of money, so what you have to do is you'll close it, you'll fund it with your money, in this case, let's say you've got a credit line to do it, that's what a warehouse line does. So you use that facility to close the loan and fund it, and then you collect the documentation in proper order so that you could get rid of it, replenish your supply, and lend more people money. So that's how you keep turning that same amount of credit line over and over to help more families, if you can't sell it and you can't get it off your books, you eventually run out of space so you can't help any more families. So imagine that person who wants to buy a home or needs to get a mortgage because that other person's already purchased a new home, it has a terrible effect.
So what the government has done here is they've botched the messaging because they haven't explained that this is a huge issue which is not forgiveness, it's just postponement with no financial benefit. Secondarily, they allowed it to be a free for all, and what they said was, "All you have to do is affirm you've been affected." What does that mean? What they should have done is like we did in the financial crisis, you have to prove hardship, "I lost my job." Now, that'll be a lot of people to handle anyway, but if you mitigated by 80% less people with forbearance, it becomes more manageable, and it would help them sell because, guys, what we're trying to do is tap into a facility that's going to be created to allow servicers to access money to pay the investor because that's what they have to do.
If you mitigated by the amount of people who don't need it and get rid of that portion of it, you then have to have a smaller and more manageable facility, so they're hurting themselves. You know what this reminds me of, guys? Sorry, just one more point?

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, please.

Barry Habib:
Physicians in their sincere good-intentioned effort to help people who are in pain, started to prescribe opioids and what run into? The cure was much worse than the problem because the opioid addiction became really bad, and this is kind of analogous to this. So we have to be thoughtful and mindful as we come out with ... We have to balance urgency with thoughtfulness, and I see the urgency, but so far we were able to avoid the lack of thought from the Feds point of view, I don't blame the Fed. They just weren't aware of the way the plumbing works, [crosstalk 00:16:20] now we need the treasury, this is a Treasury Department issue. Steven Mnuchin has the keys to this, and legislature to say, "You have to prove that you have received hardship." If we fix those two, the place we're going to, guys, which we can talk about is a really much better place and it's a great place.

Brian Covey:
Yeah, and I think you bring up a good point, sometimes these moves and the unintended consequences that were not thought through there and now for all of us, we're having to pivot and shift, and the question I'm getting a lot, Barry, I'm sure you are is, "How long do we stay in this mode that we're in today, and just kind of what does this look like for us as we move forward?"

Barry Habib:
So the way I like to view this, guys, is this is a bridge we have to cross, and the first question is, how long does this virus last? So there's a lot of hope with hydroxychloroquine, it's in a drug that's out there right now for malaria called Plaquenil and you combine that with azithromycin, and it has incredible anecdotal data, there are tests being conducted now, I talked to the Cleveland Clinic three times a day to Dr. Mike Roizen, who's Mehmet Oz's partner and as of this morning I got an update from him that he says potentially next week we should get some good data but we have to use caution because there is drug interactions and it's recommended that you consider doing an EKG beforehand because you have to measure the time it takes your heart to restart to know that this is safe for you. So this is not going to be an immediate or quick thing, it needs to be done carefully and cautiously, it's something that we should be, like any drug, be cautious and consult our physician with.
But it, to me, seems like the big benefit is you stop transmitting virus in a three to six-day period, which greatly reduces transmission and it gives us some sort of a weapon against this horrible, horrible virus that we now can't seem to easily manage. And the cure for managing it, and of course, the preservation of life is so important, is causing our economy to go under incredible pain. So there's also something else that's something to look forward to, something happens with the sun's energy, not temperature, but the energy within the sun because the proximity to the sun to where we are in the northern hemisphere, that starts to occur in April, which has the virus subside during that period of time. So we pray to God, we can't get through this month fast enough, but it seems to me, to answer your question, and I apologize for it being a long answer, is that I think by May, we will have tools and we will have nature on our side that will help us to try and get our economy back to where we're taking some steps forward.

Brian Covey:
Yeah, I think that's the hope everybody's kind of looking for is, we know April, not just from the health side of things, there's some improvements, but we also know a lot of us have massive pipelines that start to move through and we get caught up in warehouse lines and all of those things that we're all talking about, start to get to a better place when we get to May. So I love how those actually correlate together today and you shared that, and I love what we talked about the other day ... Go ahead?

Barry Habib:
Brian, I just wanted to mention about [inaudible 00:19:17], this is where everybody who's listening to this has to please, please think like a CEO, please like you are the CEO of your future here, and whenever we weigh things, there's the short-term and then there's the long-term, and what we have to understand and accept is that we're going to go through some short-term pain. I'm sorry, I'm not going to sugarcoat this, this is going to suck, we're going to go through some short-term pain, April's going to be bad. But, if we go through the short-term pain, the long-term is so rewarding, so we have to think now, do not fall into the trap of thinking about the short-term. This is the period of time, it's like a John F. Kennedy moment, you can't say what [inaudible 00:20:00] for my company to preserve the long-term, and make no mistake, there's no magic well. We all drink from the same well, every company out there is experiencing the same ... I speak to every one of them, every CEO and we're all in the same boat.
Whether the timing of one is different than the other, we are all in this together, there is no difference.

Brian Covey:
Love the way you said that, and I think that brings us to, a lot of people are looking for opportunities today of what they can be doing because there's things that we talked about that are outside of our control. But what are the things you would recognize as, what are the opportunities today?

Barry Habib:
Well-

Alec Hanson:
Real quick, [crosstalk 00:20:39].

Barry Habib:
... might want to add some comments too, right, Anthony? I'd love to get your take?

Alec Hanson:
Yep, I think we've got you, Anthony, good to see you again. Anthony? This is the joy of taking all the technology and moving it into our houses. Anthony, we can see you and we can hear you, if you can chat, can you hear us?

Anthony Hsieh:
For some reason, I'm not hearing you guys [crosstalk 00:21:11]-

Alec Hanson:
Well, we can hear you.

Anthony Hsieh:
Can you hear me?

Alec Hanson:
Oh, yeah.

Anthony Hsieh:
Okay, well, I can't hear myself. So, Barry, those are all incredibly powerful explanations and comments, what I would add to everybody that is listening or watching this is, we've got to hunker down to get through this transition. There's panic, there's uncertainty, there's fear, no doubt unemployment is going to spike, consumer behavior, once the health hazard is over, is a bit unpredictable. I personally do not believe there is going to be a big recovery, I think consumers are going to be fundamentally different going forward, but understand that there is a supply and demand curve for us mortgage professionals in the industry, and that is there is not enough capacity. From positions to capital, to warehouse lines, there's just not enough going into this lower interest rate environment and this more than likely recession for our industry to support the demand.
So whatever and whenever this new normal is, we're on the right side of the supply and demand curve and that is really going to be really strong for us as an industry and this is why we all must pull together and we all need to become one community and show Americans and society that non-bank lending and mortgage professionals should be viewed differently than they have been since the '80s and the '90s and certainly through the last financial crisis. This is our time, everybody, to come out and pound our chest a little bit to say, "Hey, we do good and America needs us, and look what we're doing." The power of 50 plus percent market share, it's heroic, it's a lot of stuff, it's hard. Every loan is still hard to do, even with all the technology, so anyways, I don't want to steal the show, but I'm just really passionate about what we do together and the fact that we support 50 plus percent of the liquidity in this wonderful country of ours and we do good, and gosh darn it, I want a little credit for it, right?

Alec Hanson:
Awesome, Anthony, love your insight.

Brian Covey:
Well said.

Alec Hanson:
Thank you so much.

Brian Covey:
Awesome, you want to pivot back to ... I love what Anthony was sharing there, I saw Barry was nodding his head, and I love the message, and you're going to see that #bettertogether, I think it's going to create its own movement there. But I would love to hear, Barry, you're talking to a lot of people out there, and the opportunities sometimes we miss them when we get caught up in the noise in a lot of this change and adversity. So I'd just love to hear from you, what are the opportunities and how do people get engaged to where they can help and make a difference out there?

Barry Habib:
So the reality is this, and Brian, that's great, and Anthony, those were great comments, and I think they blend beautifully into the fact that we are doing good, and this is a chance for us to really shine, you're 100% right, Anthony. So, Brian, when you take a look at the reality, so the second-quarter, I expect our GDP, which was trending at about 2% to fall maybe negative 9% or 10%, I'm sorry that'll be the first quarter number, the second-quarter number, I think that that will be really devastating, maybe down 35% or 40% GDP, which is really almost unprecedented. But I see a snapback in the third quarter and things will start to be better. Now, as far as housing goes, the demographics for housing are incredible, and when you think about this, if there were ever an argument for, "I want to be a homeowner and get out of my apartment building." It's fear of a virus, right?

Alec Hanson:
Yeah.

Barry Habib:
And it's social distancing, so we are looking at models where we think that homeownership will increase after this. Now, employment will be one of the factors that we have to monitor because how quickly does employment come back? It won't be instant because that restaurant who was employing 40 people has to spread tables out and maybe they hired 20 people, and so on and so on, and industries like the cruise industry and like big theater industries and things like that, they're going to have a tough time. So we pray to God for all of them, and for all those people, but what we want to see is, we want to see that employment start to come back, and people aren't going to be rushing to sell their homes. There's already a lack of inventory, builders have built less homes, not more, but yet when you look at birthrates from the 1980s, you can't change that and those birthrates continue to increase, so that means a flood of new people coming in that are going to either have an apartment that they live in or a home they live in and I think that the vast majority if you keep with statistics, they'll want a home.
So every metrics tells us that the housing market will have upside pressure, the drawdown that I think you'll probably see an opportunity because I think home appreciation will take a hit. It's my opinion that it takes a hit, some people are more optimistic, I, in this case, am a little more pessimistic than some of the other very respected colleagues, but I think it's also short-term, which provides opportunity. I think that to the extent that you can if you purchased a home and remember that you don't typically buy a home this week and sell it next week, that this is a great opportunity. I also think for many people who ask us, "What should I do with my stock portfolio?" Listen, I think the stock valuations potentially have a little bit more room to the downside as this news comes out, but I also think that long-term, these provide entry points that are a great opportunity.
And I think that right now's a good time as an opportunity to look at your own personal situation and those that are your clients that you could serve and say, "Can I refinance, not because I want to save a Rate and Term so I can save somebody $100 a month of $200." Okay, that's okay, but the real magic happens when you wipe out all their debts, use the equity that everybody has in their home now, while they have it, use it to wipe out debts. Use it to take out cash, give them a safety net, make them feel comfortable so they don't have to liquidate their stocks at a 50% discount. Put them in a position to where you can do all of this and keep their payment where they're loosening up $1500 to $2000 a month, instead of the government giving you a $1200 once, give them $2000 every month and then when this settles and when you're comfortable, take that $1500 or $2000 and maybe apply it toward your mortgage and save 12 or 15 years of payments and pay for your kid's college that way, pay for your retirement that way.
Brian, to answer your question, these are the opportunities, and one more opportunity is the opportunity within you to really be a leader, to really soak up the knowledge, to use the social media platforms out there to get the knowledge out that everyone is thirsting for right now. What Alec's doing here is helping people see what's going on and this will not just end when this virus ends, Alec is establishing himself on a platform that people know that they can go to for a trusted source. You need to do that with your realtors, with your buyers, and your market, and the time that we have to do that is now amidst all the chaos, seeing the opportunity is the magic that creates tremendous wealth.

Brian Covey:
Oh, you nailed it there, and it allows that opportunity for us to become that next level of trusted advisors that you've talked about for a long time, and really, I can see our industry taking that shift to now, we really are advising people holistically and guiding them through. So I think we're going to have a unique opportunity to serve the American people and serve them exceptionally well through this time. So, thank you, Barry, you have provided tremendous insights, and I know you're going to have more of these, we appreciate you taking time to come on today and share this and just be the leader that you are for our industry. So, thank you.

Barry Habib:
Well, you guys are all leaders as well, and there's a lot of leadership within every single one of you people listening. So, as Anthony has said, we are in this together, and we will get through this together, let's protect the companies that are out there first but thank you guys, I'm always here for you if you need me.

Alec Hanson:
Thank you, Barry, so much. Guys, so I know that that was a lot of info, and I forgot to do this in the beginning because I got excited, but all of this is being recorded on YouTube for the future. So if you're having streaming issues because right now more and more people are streaming and having problems just because everyone's online. If you're getting glitches on your own system, don't worry, go back to YouTube, you can pull this thing up and watch the whole thing. So as we come down from the top of the industry into kind of the meat of what are mortgage companies doing? What are the changes happening with Fanny and Freddy? I heard these appraisals are being changes and VEOs and verification of employment is being changed, and we had to take all of our whole team and make them virtual in like a week. We're so lucky to be led by Tammy Richards, she's below, right here, we're going to give a chance to kind of share what's going on, but she's our chief operating officer at Loan Depot.
She's responsible for our loan production, our underwriting, processing, funding, credit, closing, quality assurance, can you add more rocks? She's carrying a mountain, she's also heavily involved in our digital experience and what we're doing to delight the customer. So, she's had, wow, a lot of lending experience, I can't read the actual date because it's a lie because you're too young for that. But Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Caliber, she's a black belt in Six Sigma, and a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do, got that right?

Tammy Richards:
That's right, that's right.

Alec Hanson:
She'll literally take you down if she needs to, so don't mess with her, but, Tammy, thank you for coming on today to share your insight because people are nervous, they're nervous that their loan isn't going to go through, they're nervous that there are changes happening. We're watching the NON-QM market evaporate a little bit and people who thought that had a loan are not, and yet, the government's putting a lot of liquidity into conventional conforming high-balance, and man, can you just share your perspective on how we navigated through going remote, how we're navigating these changes, what are these changes and how are mortgage companies handling it across the country to provide our customers the services and the loans they want?

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, happy to, and the move to virtual and remote was a very interesting one, moving our 6,000 team members to remote was a challenge. I think setting up the systems, just everybody being able to be their own IT to set up everything and then virtually working with each other to be IT support to get our systems set up, that was tough. Also, having the kids home from school, and-

Alec Hanson:
I don't want to talk about that.

Tammy Richards:
We need to figure that all out, somebody told me that they did an April Fools joke for their kids where they hid five Easter eggs, but told them they hid 15, and it kept them busy for a little while. I don't know, but it's just been pretty exciting, but it went smooth and seamless, it's due to the tech that we had already built within our systems to be remote, and the foresight of Anthony to be able to make sure that we were a tech-forward company and were able to serve our customers virtually, so we're up and we're ready for business, and ready to support our customers. I-

Alec Hanson:
I know you're not going to brag for yourself, but you did just execute a record-breaking month for the company, we served a lot of people, I think Anthony said almost 20,000 people, and we're projecting even more in this month. I mean, your team, even remote, is going exceptional work and I know there's a lot of people doing exceptional work in this industry, I also want to give a quick shout out, Tammy, because someone just sent me a note. I want to thank all of our realtor partners and all of our appraisal partners and title partners, and county recording people, and everybody that's pulling on the same side of the rope right now. That, to me, is a true sign of the industry coming together, and I would be remiss if I did not thank them and recognize them because a lot are watching right now and commenting and they have the same concerns our customers do, "Please tell me you can keep funding my loans." I was alive in 2008 and it didn't go good. So, in that regard, Tammy, what's going on there?

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, I've heard of notaries doing amazing things, so many people are helping us, the appraisers are doing amazing feats, I've seen drive-thru closings where somebody's coming in their car to close the loan, the notaries are watching through the windows. There's lots of creative ways, but I really do think that we're here as those experts, to help our customers through in a human way. The virtual is one thing, but everybody needs each other to help each other through, and so how do we keep our customers safe and our partners safe, and still be able to serve the American people? I'm really proud, I'm really proud that we were able to lower people's payments, we were able to help them pay their bills off and get excess to their equity and find a place to shelter in during this time, it's amazing.

Alec Hanson:
Tammy, one thing I'd love for you to share because there is a little political movement around this, is digital closings, digital mortgages, where somebody can close their loan without the fear of human interaction. So online virtual notaries, all that stuff that we've been leaning into and almost being held back as an industry a little bit because certain counties weren't ready for it, they didn't want full digital closings, they still require wet signatures. And you've done a really good job over the last couple years since you helped launch the mello smartloan, to position us to execute the way a customer wants to be served. Well, now they want to be served digitally more than ever because there's this whole pandemic going on. So maybe share how that technology's working, what's inhibiting it from being mass accepted because you've been a pioneer bringing that to the industry.

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, so the mello smartloan we rolled out in 2018 and we rolled out hybrid e-close and digital closings for people in all 50 states back in 2018, and we've been going it ever since. We didn't really, and nobody could have anticipated a pandemic, but we were anticipating how customers wanted to be served, and customers were coming to us more and more digitally and online, and wanting to be able to be served from their homes and on their computers. And I pictured a day when we could all be closing our loans on a laptop or an iPad or phone, anywhere we want it to be, and my favorite place to close a loan, if I were closing my loan, would be at the beach, I would be at the beach closing my loan. But I do think that what we were doing as far as online digital applications, being able to digitally validate documentation, including income, asset and what the agencies do, the Day 1 Certainty, and also the loan advisor suite.
All of that helped us to be able to be prepared and the digital smartloan, or mello smartloan that we rolled out, took it a little step further documenting credit, title, [crosstalk 00:37:24], appraisal in a digital way. But everybody on this call should be running dual AUS, run LP, run DU, see if you can get a PIW or an ACE waiver because nobody wants an appraiser to be coming into their house right now unless they have to have that. It would be so much better, but how about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stepping up and helping us with having drive-by appraisals available again, or desktop appraisals-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, and Tammy, really unpack that because there are some people listening, not industry savvy, they're maybe in the middle of a re-finance themselves, what does this mean, that they allow drive-bys now? What does this mean that we can do a desktop review? What's the function of it?

Tammy Richards:
So, it's still an appraiser doing the appraisal, but the drive-by review is the old 2055 form, and it's actually a drive-by appraisal where there's no interior inspection, and then that's being allowed for Rate and Terms, and for purchases with Fannie and Freddie. [crosstalk 00:38:34] and USDA all stepped up and said it would be okay there too, so it's really been great, Jumbo, it's still kind of tough for appraisals required, there's not alternatives out there on Jumbo. But for the appraisal alternatives that we have out there today, there's a safe way to do appraisals and there's a safe way for our appraisers, and there's a safe way for our customers and for them to still be able to lower their payments, especially in this most important time. So, thank goodness Fannie and Freddie and everybody else are such great partners with us, but PIW and ACE is the best way to go, [crosstalk 00:39:12].

Alec Hanson:
I know, and they also did something with verification of employment, right? It gave us some more flexibility in the industry or us to be able to do that so that even though people are moving at home and working from different places, we can till serve the customer and close.

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, so verification of employment, they're allowing written, but when they say written, it's really an email verification of employment, that's pretty cool, we wanted those before, but that written verification of employment alternative, or being able to use a pay stub or bank statement, to be able to have that bank statement with the direct deposit and most recently applied closest to the note date is something that you can use as a verification as well. So there's some alternatives there, there were some other things that changed, including age of doc, I know everybody saw that and got a little bit worried about it, don't be worried, it's okay. We can still re-digitally validate, so if we've done income, asset, employment, we could just re-digitally validate that within the 60 days. If you need to get other documentation, customers can take a picture, customers can upload that into our portal, which our consumer portal is completely virtual.
So customers can add digital documentation, even if we don't have the digital source, by scanning the information in or giving us a picture of it. So there's a lot of ways to go digital, I love that we have our online application everybody can put their information in online, but then operations needs to step up and use that digital information to make decisions on the loan without asking for more paper. So, if the AUS says that your digital validation is acceptable, you can use that, it saves you time and you can serve more customers, we don't need to revalidate with paper. Papers are boring, papers are boring.

Alec Hanson:
Barry, did you have a comment you wanted to throw in? I saw you ... I think you're muted. Muted, yep. Still muted, still muted, my man and the best part is there was a comment earlier where someone was like, "Thank God I'm not the only one who speaks on these things while muted." No, we're all human, we're all ...

Barry Habib:
I'm trying to behave myself and make sure that I haven't muted, but I just forget to turn it back on. So I wanted to just mention that I do have to run, yet another call, but I wanted to thank you guys, and is there any other final question that you might want me to answer before I have to jump?

Alec Hanson:
I think we hit all of them, the comments are pretty robust and so what I'll do too at the end of this guys, is comb through this and try to pull a lot of the questions that are coming out and then feed those back to you, Barry, so they continue your missions of education. And here's my encouragement for everyone right now as Barry steps out, guys, please follow MBS Highway, right there, go, go, get connected, there is such a wealth ... It's somewhere, there's such a wealth [crosstalk 00:42:21].

Barry Habib:
Yeah, well you guys have a pretty good deal on that by the way, for people that are signing up like crazy, it's Bedlam here signing up for it, but they're paying $200 a month, your company has brought that down and subsidized it all the way down to I think it's like $39 a month, something ridiculous, I don't even know what it is, but it's some really insignificant number, get on board, so, love you all.

Alec Hanson:
Keep it up, [crosstalk 00:42:44]-

Barry Habib:
Thank you, everyone.

Tammy Richards:
Thank you, Barry.

Brian Covey:
Thanks, Barry.

Alec Hanson:
All right, Tammy, there's one thing I want to hit that I really want you to lean into because digital closings, the actual ... Because the e-hybrid closing is an amazing experience, the customer has five, six, seven documents to sign, it's not the three laying on the table, two hours of hand cramping, and we've rolled that out for a couple years now. But, we've been having some trouble getting counties to accept full E, I mean, can you walk through what's going on there and maybe what the government's doing and that world?

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, so there is legislation out in the Senate right now to allow E and remote notarization across all state, currently 42 states are allowing it, which is much better than what we had previous to this. So there's an acceleration in allowing for the virtual closing, and more and more states are having government emergency orders to allow it. I know California, Colorado, and others definitely have been stepping up and allowing it by emergency order, due to the COVID issues. But we do have 42 states currently that can do remote notarization, and the Agency stepped up this week and gave us more information in regards to limited power of attorney and also remote online notarization and allowed for both of them.

Alec Hanson:
So, again, how does this functionally happen? If I'm going to utilize remote notarization, walk me through it, I'm a kindergartner, tell me how this works.

Tammy Richards:
Oh no, okay, you're not a kindergartner, but I will walk you through.

Alec Hanson:
In my heart I am, never grow up.

Tammy Richards:
So, for the limited power of attorney, that one's a pretty cool one, and I think it's a good option because what it is, is a remote online notary gets on with the customer, and the customer signs the limited power of attorney specific to the transaction, allowing the title company or closing agent to sign on their behalf. They still go through all of the documents and acknowledge and say, "Yes, I understand, and understand the terms and conditions of the loan." But they're able to then have the title company wet sign those documents on their behalf as a power of attorney.

Alec Hanson:
So they could have a notary, like we are right now, digitally I can sign it and then they can go execute on my behalf for that transaction, and we don't have to put ourselves at risk and have human interaction if that's what we're choosing to do?

Tammy Richards:
That's right, that's right, it's still a human interaction from the title company or closing agent leading you through the transaction, but it's virtual and no-touch, and the power of attorney could be signed electronically, so there's no wet signature even though it's a completely wet executed document transaction. So I think that that's going to be the easiest one for anybody out there that's trying to execute on some sort of virtual or E and they don't have the hybrid-e or they don't have another way of doing it. If you look at the limited power of attorney, that might be your first option, then also the remote online notarization, the interesting thing there is that that allows for the customer to go ahead and sign the transaction. They can sign it wet, and there's virtual notarization where the notary is watching the signing and notarizing the documents, but you could also do full e-closing where it's electronically signed all the way through including the note, and that is the one that has had the hardest time with legislation.
We've done full E and we do do full E, we haven't rolled it out in a broad way, we've been doing it from a beta perspective, but we hade done full e-closings, but I do think that the remote online notarization and the LPOA is going to give everybody in the industry the biggest headstart. What about those states that don't have-

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, I'm actually getting several questions asking about what states accept this, what don't, so I'm glad you're going to jump on that.

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, so when we post this, if you want, we can give a link to show which states allow for it, but for those that don't, there's a lot of creative things happening to still have it be a safe closing. So, everybody can wear masks and gloves, obviously, there can be test stations to make sure that people that are interacting don't have fevers or any other symptoms. But also, I've heard people dropping documents on the porch or the [crosstalk 00:47:31] and then people picking them up, having the conversation a very far distance apart, more than the six feet even, then doing Zoom while they sign the documents. So the notary and the customers are on Zoom, coming back out, putting them back on the stoop, obviously, using the gloves and masks, and having them notarized right there. So it's still face-to-face, somewhat. But for those that don't allow for remote notary or remote online notarization of any kind, there are still things that can be done in order for it to be a much more no-contact closing.

Alec Hanson:
That's incredible. So, one question here, Tammy, as we wind down this part of the conversation, I view that our industry's being fundamentally changed right in front of us, from how our employees work, from where they work, from what tools they use, to the experiences our customers have and will have executing mortgage docs and all that fun stuff. So I'd love for you to peer into your crystal ball a little bit, and knowing what you know on the tech platform you're leading and developing, where is this thing going to go? And in the meantime, while it's going there, are we going to be okay, you know what I mean?

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, so we're going to be okay. I love-

Alec Hanson:
I knew the answer to that one, but I just wanted to hear you say it.

Tammy Richards:
I know, I love that song, Jo Jack ... Who's the singer that sings that song?

Alec Hanson:
Which one? You're going to have to sing it now. We should bring Barry back on to sing.

Tammy Richards:
Oh, anyway, it talks about banana pancakes, which I get very happy about, so-

Brian Covey:
Jack Johnson?

Tammy Richards:
Jack Johnson, Better Together, we're going to be better together, we really are and America needs their lenders to help them with lowering their payments, this is one of the most important times in American history where customers have needed us, and I know we're not the first responders from a medical perspective. But we're essential workers that are out there helping everybody in a very stressful time, so we're going to be better and we are okay, and we're better together. As far as my crystal ball is concerned, we're going to have a lot more cool things coming out, we have a lot of stuff in beta right before this happened and all of a sudden, the remote notarization became the top of my technology-

Alec Hanson:
Wishlist? Yeah.

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, [inaudible 00:50:14]. So we're actually sending out our information to everybody this week, and we've started doing remote online notarizations, and the LPOA notarization process. I've done so far this week, about 75 of them, so it hasn't been a lot of my closings, but it's been a big chunk. Next week, we'll do a couple hundred, the following week we're ramping up, the reason why is because the notaries have to get certified, and so we're ramping up that notary strength while we're doing this. That's why I think the LPOA is going to be the easiest way for the industry, if a customer can't wet sign, to use that might be your best option because that requires the least amount of capacity. But for my crystal ball, my crystal ball is going to say that more and more customers are going to be approved at time of application based on digital information. More customers are going to have surety the way that they've never had it before, and from an operation standpoint, will be able to have acceleration and more capacity due to be able to utilize the data that we have in a very dynamic way to clear conditions and to help with underwriting and to help with processing.
And for those check the checker types tasks, we could use AI and other technologies to be able to streamline the operational process.

Alec Hanson:
Well, I don't want to go too deep down the rabbit hole on this, Tammy, but you and I talked before about the reality that technology is going to curated in such a way that you've been pioneering to use optical character recognition, and some really cool features in the industry to automatically read documents, assess them. We're already using the ones that auto-file them, and remove some human contact with those files as the technology kind of helps lift the job up above everybody. So it's going to be amazing as this continues to come out.

Tammy Richards:
Yeah, we need to go E on everything and digital on everything, paper's really boring, we shouldn't use paper anymore, and data is really cool and it's safe and it's fun to use, too.

Alec Hanson:
So, Tammy, this question's a little more somber, a little bit, but it's important and I think from your position as a senior leader for the industry, there are some guidelines tightening up, and so loan officers are communicating those out in social media, they're trying to get to their agents involved and it's a phenomenon that we're in reality of. Looking back a few weeks, or, I've lost track of all time, I feel like it's been two months, it's probably been like two days. But watching the NON-QM world evaporate to a degree, people thought they had loans that they don't and we're seeing this now on government loans and other things. Do you see this normalizing, do you see this being a temporary thing, do you see this being as maybe a new normal? What insight would you share?

Tammy Richards:
I think it will normalize, but right now we haven't seen the end of a lot of changes, obviously, we saw the IRS closing, transcripts not being able to be received, needing to figure out alternatives to that, everybody knows ... I want to just make sure, USDA, where transcripts are required, they do have documentation within the USDA guidelines that allows you to document, you're able to receive the transcript and be able to move forward on those transactions, so I don't want anybody worrying about holding back on their USDA loans for transcripts. Although another good thing on USDA might be to have the customers get an electronic transcript, to answer through the IRS because digital is pretty cool, but on Jumbos, they're still coming up with some alternatives on that. It's so in flux that there's still going to be more changes coming and we're good at change in this industry.
But we need to give some peace of mind and comfort to our customers as we're going through these transactions, to try to help them because we know and don't know what's on that other end where they need this transaction so much in order to be able to stay safe and stay sheltered in.

Alec Hanson:
Thank you, Tammy. Man, such good content, such good information, thank you for being a leader in the space and we just really appreciate you.

Tammy Richards:
Thank you, it was fun.

Alec Hanson:
Alrighty, [crosstalk 00:54:51].

Brian Covey:
Tammy's getting all the comments and questions which is-

Alec Hanson:
I know, I know and now they bring on the two, I don't know what we are, the pinch hitters, I don't know, the closers, this is when everyone drops off the feed, by the way. This is great, we had thousands of people, now it's going to be our wives. But I do want to have a further conversation with you, Brian, as we go down again from the industry with Barry and Anthony, to how are we handling the chaos in operations and how are we getting through this. To, man, salespeople today, our mortgage brethren have never had more roadblocks, hurdles, and opportunity at one time in one market because people forget, I mean, we lived through the mortgage crisis, and if you lived through that as an originator, you knew what it was like to pivot and change. You had no choice, yeah, Jessica, I'm still here, we had no choice.
But at the same time, the mortgage industry as well as capital markets and stock markets and all that stuff, they were part of the problem that caused this thing, well, now we're not part of the problem, we're in the boat with everybody else trying our best to serve our customers, and our salespeople's strategies have been dramatically impacted. They can't go to open houses, they can't go to their referral partners, they can't go to the networking event-

Brian Covey:
Nobody's out there.

Alec Hanson:
No one's there, and so you've been a leader in this space, you've been communicating a ton with your team and the industry, just sharing market knowledge, what are salespeople doing today to pivot their business, and I don't care what industry you're in, I was talking to people that sell insurance, I was talking to people that sell electronics. We're all fundamentally changed right now, and so give me your take on how you're coaching people today, let's open the conversation up on what you're seeing with our salespeople?

Brian Covey:
Yeah, so we talk about this a lot, and I've had some really robust conversations lately, to your point, outside the industry, everybody's being impacted and I'm finding those that are leaning and leveraging the tools, that it was like overnight, we needed to figure out how to go live on Zoom and we needed to figure out, "Well, how do I have a face-to-face conversation?" So if you're holding out, this is your time and this is the wake-up call of you need to get in this game because that is one of the things I don't think we're going to see go back to what it was before. People are getting comfortable in this space of doing video, and we've seen some of our top originators do sales presentations to an entire group of real estate agents on a web call, and we're sharing information back and forth.
I've seen people lean in, I've seen the most collaboration, and those that are going to the next level are collaborating with financial planners, real estate agents, title companies, you're bringing in experts, we brought in sales coaches. What I've found through this, Alec, is people are willing to give of their time, which is the most precious commodity that we all have, and people are willing to share just like Barry came on. So I would encourage you, this is the time to leverage your network and your friends to share what they know to impact yourself, and your team in a positive way, and we talked about this on the podcast you and I did is, the leader doesn't have to know everything. But it is your job to bring resources and to collaborate to inspire, motivate, and educate your team on a daily basis, it's a daily thing right now.
Let's be real, we have people showing up, like all of us, I had my middle son, Davis, was born in 2008, November, in the crisis, so you talk about what we learned from then to now, I'm so thankful for him and what we learned because now it's time to go all-in, like all-in if you weren't before.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, I really want to add some commentary and just share some insight because you're nailing it and this is something we all have to focus. Number one, we've done this before, and if you're new to the industry and you haven't gone through this before, find those people who have gone through it before, those people are going to be rocks in this market because they know what it takes. They're ready, they're flexible, and they're going to be able to help kind of share their guidance with you, and I'll give you an example, so for 13 years I own and have started a CrossFit gym, it started in my garage 13 years ago, and now we're in an 11,000 square foot facility, tons of gear, tons of stuff, and we can't operate the way we used to operate.
So instead, we packaged up all our gear into individual packages and sent it all as home gear, and built home gyms for all of our members, the guy that runs the place goes live every morning at 6:00 with a workout and a warmup, and takes people through it and then we do Zoom workouts all day, and we're equipping our members to do what they do and enjoy working out. And it's brutal, but it's a great example of a pivot, now as you're a loan officer, and you can't do what you used to do, here's the greatest opportunity that I see, your ability as a mortgage professional, a sales professional, to foster and cultivate human connection, is modern sales and prospecting, period. And I'm watching it happen with loan officers hosting Zoom brokers previews, which is incredible because the realtors don't have the pizza parlor to go to anymore or whatever it was, so they're still like, "People still want to sell their house, life is still trying to move ahead." And they're hosting that.
I've seen people host happy hours, book clubs online, I've seen people host wine tastings with the winemaker who's trying to sell their wines, and they'll come in and they'll share how they made their wine and everyone will drink it and talk and have a good time. I'm seeing sales professionals create space for small businesses to get recognized and served, we all should know that small businesses are going to be affected in this. So I've watched originators find these small businesses, prop them up, share how the community can wrap around them, whether it's take-out night on one night, or gift cards, or whatever it is, and this is the opportunity great salespeople have to lean into, is to foster human connection.

Brian Covey:
Dude, that's it, creativity and innovation, those right now are your keys to success, what you shared, that's creativity, we have more time, be creative and intentional with that time, but now, you're going to innovate. This is the way we are now going to be able to actually see opportunities that we didn't see before because we were in a pattern, and this pattern's been interrupted and this is the time people are going to lean in and find opportunities. And on the other side of this is tremendous opportunity to serve and connect in a much higher and deeper way.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, so I'm encouragement for all of you out there, whether you are a leader or salespeople, especially if you're a leader, video is your friend, it is not your enemy, video is our human connection tool today, now more than ever before. So I've been leaning really heavily into my teams being like, "Guys, I want to see daily, weekly at a minimum, Zoom calls where everyone's on camera, none of this turn the camera off and hide in your pajamas, get dressed up, get ready to work." We're trying to figure out new rhythms and new ways to operate and we've got to pull each other through this together, I mean, I love the better together thing from Anthony, not only as an industry but as leaders, it's time to pull those people up and get it together. And if you're a market-leading loan professional, now is your time, it's really like, it is your time to step up and-

Brian Covey:
Yes, coach has put you in.

Alec Hanson:
Yeah, you are in, whether you wanted to be in or not, you are in, you are tapped in. So, Brian, I'd love for you to also share, what else are you seeing some of the best leaders and loan officers do in this time to step into this new normal?

Brian Covey:
Yeah, so I think as a leader, your frequency and ability to communicate, you mentioned video, and I would say the number one most powerful thing is that video, and you can do that to a mass group. But let's not forget the human interaction and relationships that matter, and picking up the phone and calling people. While we may hesitate, we may think people are busy, I will tell you when I received some personal phone calls lately or just even messages that are audio. I think those are both stronger, video and audio messages are stronger than just a text message, my personal opinion on that.

Alec Hanson:
For sure, it's more personalized.

Brian Covey:
Right? And I think doing those to individual people, I can't tell you how that made me feel, of people that have reached out and so, intentionally every day, I'm trying to reach out between five and 10 people on my team and not on my team today that are just in my life, that I care about, that I want to let them know that, "I'm thinking about you." And I'm sharing from what I have learned on a podcast or I have picked in a YouTube motivational video somebody posted on Instagram. And what I want to try to do is be a beacon of light in that lighthouse of, everybody that I come in contact with that day as a leader, I'm going to inspire them and I'm going to give them a message of hope that it might be the only thing that day that really comes in. So don't miss that opportunity when you feel that call and you have somebody come across your brain, reach out, that's your cue and I found just listening to that inner voice of, "Reach out to people and be human."
The last thing I would tell you, Alec, is this, is I have found in seasons like this, this is where leaders go and double, triple down on their own personal development and get real about where you need to go because your ability to grow your capacity will mean the difference between how you can impact your team on a level three or four, or can you impact them up at an eight, nine or 10 level? So, leaders are going to step up and leader and if you're in that role, you need to lead.

Alec Hanson:
Now's the time. I also want to get really tactical for a loan officer right now, in these times it can be stagnating, frustrating, you've got a new life around you, kids laying on top of you, you've got a lot of stuff to manage, and a real tactical just daily best practice can be going through your CRM, pulling up five names a day, making sure you're connected with them on all your social channels and send them all a personal video text message that just says, "Hey, in this turmoil, in this market craziness, I've got your back, if you have questions, if you have concerns, if you think maybe now's the time to refinance, if you want real truth about the industry, I'm here for you, call me any time."
That personal, one-to-one message that says, "I'm thinking about you." Is so meaningful right now to people that are feeling disconnected, who can't go to happy hours and social times, and I know that's really granular and tactical and right at the street level. But I feel like people aren't doing it, and I feel too, people are putting out mass videos, which has a wonderful role in the industry and I want people to continue to go live, but then they're forgetting to go personal and deep and write to the people too.

Brian Covey:
It's both, yeah, it's not either/or, right? It's not an either/or there, and what we've shared with our group is, there are opportunities, you just have to be aware of them, and by having more conversations, it actually makes you more aware of your customer's needs and you get to hear from them because too many times we think, "Okay, rates have gone up on refinance transactions." And you're thinking, "Well, nobody's refinancing." Right? And you get in that mindset, and so you have to break that mindset and move into a point you can serve, and the other thing I was going to share with you, Alec, this is for leaders, I was actually talking to someone this morning, all of our companies have gone through different changes. The industry's made changes, there will continue to be changes, as a leader, the sooner and more frequent you can communicate those changes, how they impact the business and be educated about what's happening.
Whether it's the Fed or government FICO changes, or why rates are moving this way versus that way, why did 9QM go away? All of these things, I've seen some leaders, and some have reached to me, that are afraid to have those conversations. If you're a leader today, I implore you in saying, guys, you've got to communicate with your team, wherever you are, and share your company's message as to why each company, channel, whatever, why decisions are being made because a lot of us are in this together, and many times we just think, "It's just me, the sky is falling." And as a leader, confront those opportunities to have conversations.

Alec Hanson:
So, guys out there, we've gone over an hour, I'm really grateful for everybody that tuned in, that commented, that questioned, that added to the conversation, Tammy, I'm going to add you back in just to say goodbye to everybody. But I want to leave it with this, our greatest opportunity as an industry and as individual salespeople, is to lean into the change and be a force of positivity through the chaos and uncertainty. That to me has never rung more true than it does right now as we're managing all of this uncertainty, all this fear, all of this change, and all this hardship. I mean, let's be honest, our whole world is impacted, I had a conversation with my six-year-old daughter as we took a drive yesterday to get out of the house who said, "Daddy, has this ever happened before?" And I said, "No, this is a defining moment in the world and the United State's history, we are living in it right now." And we have a chance to be a positive light in it, and a pillar for the entire United States economy as we help people with their mortgage transactions.
And that to me is an incredible blessing I'm very thankful for, so Brian, Tammy, any finale words?

Tammy Richards:
Just thank you, it was fun visiting with everybody, we'll visit with you again. It was great, Loan Depot was able to serve over 20,000 in March, and we'll do over that in April, we're here in full-force, virtual but human, to serve everybody.

Brian Covey:
Oh, I love that. Yeah, Alec, I would just say this is a time for all of us to stabilize and take of your friends and family, and just love on other people in a way that people are going to need us to support them through this. All of us will get impacted in some way, and so just be ready for that and lift each other up every day.

Alec Hanson:
All right, everybody, stay safe, God bless, take care and we'll see you online again sometime soon.

Tammy Richards:
Bye.

Brian Covey:
See you.


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